There comes a point in every intrepid wine lover's life when the well-traveled road must be left behind. One can only drink so much Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc. But finding one's way out of the multitudes of these bottles to something more exotic and interesting takes some effort.
Which is where the folks behind the Seven Percent Solution come in. These wine producers have organized themselves behind a claim that 93% of California's vineyard acreage is planted to eight major grape varieties, leaving seven percent for all the others. While my calculations differ (according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, thirteen varieties make up 87% of the wine grape plantings in the state) that doesn't make the charter of this group of wineries any less interesting.
Quite the contrary. The tasting that this group of seventeen wineries is putting on May 11th may well be one of the most interesting and exciting wine tastings I've encountered in California. The participating vintners are: Arnot Roberts, Bedrock Wine Co., Broc Cellars, Dirty & Rowdy Family Winery, Forlorn Hope, Idlewild Wines, Jolie-Laide, Leo Steen, Massican, Matthiasson, RPM, Ryme Cellars, Stark Wine, The Scholium Project, Two Shepherds, Unti Vineyards and Wind Gap.
For those less familiar with the names on this list, it's a veritable Who's Who list of many of the hottest small wineries in California. And by hottest, I mean those who are known and loved by wine geeks like me for pushing the boundaries of California wine.
And in two weeks, these wineries are getting together to show off some of their obscure grapes for the public. Grenache Blanc, Trousseau, Gamay, Refosco, Ribolla Gialla, Tempranillo, Verdelho, Touriga Nacional, St. Laurent, Semillon. These are just some of the grapes that these intrepid wineries have chosen to celebrate with their wines.
These wineries and their beloved grapes will be descending on a cute wine bar in Healdsburg Saturday afternoon for a tasting that is guaranteed to electrify your palate.
The Seven Percent Solution Tasting
Saturday, May 11th
3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Bergamot Alley Bar and Wine Merchant
328A Healdsburg Ave
Healdsburg CA, 95448 (map)
Tickets are $40 and well worth it, in my opinion. Buy yours in advance online, as this event will probably sell out.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
The Changing Love of Pinot Noir? Vinography Images: Patchwork California Wine Country Macabre The Latitudes and Longitudes of Pinot Noir Vinography Unboxed: Week of March 15th, 2015 Vinography Images: The Rockpile Do You Need to Worry About Arsenic in Your Wine? At What Price, To Kalon? Rhone Rangers Tasting: March 28, Richmond, CA Vinography Images: Happy Tree
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune